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Hardening of the Mind

By Donald DeMarco, PhD

A friend and I were recently discussing abortion with a young lady. In that conversation, we emphasized the importance of reason. She was intrigued by what we were saying, and the subject seemed entirely new to her. Looking at us with a sense of expectation, she asked, “What is reason?”

Supposedly, we are rational creatures. Reason should not be alien to us. However, our culture often stresses feeling to the point of excluding reason—or at least dimming our awareness of what reason is. I do not think that our response to her question was very satisfactory.

Reason, to put it in simplest terms, is the passage to reality. Without utilizing reason, we remain stranded within ourselves, dislocated from the shores of reality. How does such an anomaly come about?

The Greeks, who advanced philosophy, were aware of a condition called “scotosis.” The word is defined as “intellectual blindness” or “the hardening of the mind against unwanted wisdom.” Psychologists sometimes refer to it as “cognitive dissonance.” Even members of the Supreme Court can be stricken with scotosis.

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